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Small Business:
Curry Printing
Paula Fargo
Interview Date:
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“When I worked for a big corporation I always had to stop and ask permission to do what seemed so logical and just needed to get done. At the time I was 22 and I ruffled a lot of feathers. I thought, ‘This is so dumb.’ I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just doing my job, but people were getting mad because I wasn’t obeying the traditional chain of command. I eventually realized that it wasn’t going to work long-term, so I moved back to Baltimore. 

I attended Loyola College and I’d ride my bike down Charles Street to be the bookkeeper at Curry. My mom founded  Curry Printing in 1977. There weren’t a lot of quick printing companies in town when she opened the business. She absolutely lavished her customers with excellent service and kindness. As a result, her customers loved her. 

She was doing business with a bunch of big firms downtown in the ’70s and ‘80s when downtown was the place to be. After 10 to 15 years, she saw that things were changing. People started buying their own copiers for their offices and didn’t need her services as much. She wasn’t a particularly innovative person so she ultimately decided to tag out.  

I wasn’t working here for long when my mom decided to retire and move to Florida. I ended up buying the business outright. I’ve owned it ever since. I was 27 and I had over a million dollars in debt that I needed to pay back over the course of 10 years. I had no means to pay it back other than with my own wits and my ability to run this business. 

I was the youngest person that worked here and suddenly realized that all of the employees were working for me. I had people working here whose livelihoods depended on my doing a good job. I’ve always taken that very seriously. 

Since I had grown up in the business, everyone knew me and I knew them. I didn't stop to think too much when the opportunity to purchase arose. I understood how the business worked since I’d been the bookkeeper. I also had a degree and an MBA in economics. I showed up every day, did a good job, people liked us and that seemed to be enough. 

I’m a TCOB, ‘take care of business’ kind of person. If there is something that I need to do in my job, I just do it. I never expect anyone to do anything that I don’t do myself. I guess I lead by example."

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"It was a very happy day when I paid the last bit of the debt off. I said, ‘Okay, now we can start having fun.’ It was July 3rd when I paid it off so we had a big 4th of July party. The celebration cake stated that it was My Independence Day. It was a great feeling.

I’ve never wanted to do anything else. When you have your own business as an entrepreneur, you create the environment that you want. If you do a good job, then why would you ever want to do something else? 

My youngest daughter now works here so I have even more reason to keep the business growing and healthy. I think it’s so cool to lead other people and allow them to do their best. There is a synergy within the environment that is so beautiful. We leverage so much more brain power and potential than one could ever do alone. I love being able to multiply the effect of having great people around me who want to do even better work in the future."

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Curry Printing
Curry Printing is Maryland's premier commercial printer. Impossible deadlines met at the highest quality.
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